Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/42

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LADY LESTER sighed—such a well-bred sigh!—
As her daughter passed the piazza by,
Slender, and pallid, and drooping over,
Like the burdened bloom of the dewy clover,
Holding a volume, in childish wise,
Close to her eager and solemn eyes,
Till stumbling feet had betrayed their trust,
And, shuffling, stirred the unpolished dust.

"No style at all,"Lady Lester spoke,
As another sigh on the silence broke.
"Not a bit of style—just her pa again;
He's a clumsy soul, though the best of men.
Straighter, Rosie! straight! hold your shoulders low!
Keep your toes turned out, and your head up—so!"

There was lifting up of the great gray eyes,
With an earnest glance, full of strange surprise
That the legend sweet of the dream-lit land
Was a vision only within her hand,
Where the princes lived only wrongs to right,
And the brownies wrought through the summer night.

"Ah! yes, mamma." With her loving smile
Rosie raised her head. For a little while
Proudly trod the path like a grenadier;
Then the story grew so exceeding queer
She forgot the charge, and the time and place,
And relapsed at once into deep disgrace.